There's no knowing where you'll be rowing in a brand-new trailer for Steven Spielberg's adaptation of Ready Player One, which plays up the Willy Wonka element of the story. After all, USA Today did call the book a mix of Roald Dahl's classic story and The Matrix. Ernest Cline's novel takes place in a future obssessed with 1980s culture, and the previous trailers hyped that up quite a bit thanks to the inclusion of Van Halen's "Jump" and Rush's "Tom Sawyer."
Titled "Come With Me," the ad takes a breather from the nostalgia to focus on the actual urgency of the plot, which revolves around Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) and his friends attempting to find Anorak's Easter Egg before Nolan Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn) and Innovative Online Industries. Whoever finds the egg gets half a trillion dollars and control of the OASIS, the massive online/virtually simulated world where most of this futuristic society spends its time.
There's plenty of car chases, explosions, and gun wielding that convey the central conflict in addition to indulging in the iconography of yesteryear.
There's still plenty of '80s culture included in the trailer, but there's also a bit of '90s stuff as well. Spielberg references his own Jurassic Park with a quick shot of a T-rex chasing a vehicle. This is very meta in more ways than one, as the characters in Cline's book are infatuated with the films of Spielberg, Lucas, Scott, and Zemeckis, having watched them hundreds of times to the point where they can reenact them by heart.
Then there's the appearance of the Iron Giant from Brad Bird's 1999 animated film; this particular robot wasn't in the book, but many have speculated that the Giant will replace the Japanese Ultraman from the 1960s. Other new features include a self-building racing bridge, the budding romance between Wade and Artemis (Olivia Cooke), and a mobile OASIS rig in the back of a truck being driven by Aech (Lena Waithe).
"What's going on back there?" asks Wade as the truck swerves while being pursued by Sorrento's goons. Aech's answer is perfect: "Just practicing my Mario Kart!"
Mark Rylance, T.J. Miller, Simon Pegg, and Letitia Wright co-star in Ready Player One, which plugs itself into theaters March 30.